With a pin and a technical fall against Grand Canyon and Michigan State, respectively, senior Logan Storley electrified the crowd at the Sports Pavilion on two consecutive nights.
No. 1 Minnesota won eight of the 10 matches against Grand Canyon and nine of the 10 matches against Michigan State.
These were two dominating performances by the Gophers, but head coach J Robinson said his team still has some things to improve on.
“[On Thursday], I thought we came out a little bit flat,” Robinson said. “I talked to the guys about it, and we wanted them to pick it up. I think there [was] more intensity [Friday], and there was more focus. Those are the things that we are going to need to get where we want to be this year.”
Storley had no problem maintaining a high intensity in each of his matches.
He dominated Trey Ronayne of Grand Canyon and pinned him at the 2:25 mark.
The following night, he defeated Nick Proctor of Michigan State 16-0, giving Storley his third technical fall victory of the season.
The senior said he wants to go into each competition with a statement.
“I am really [trying] to put my offense on people and making them wrestle me at a hard pace for seven minutes,” Storley said. “Not many guys in the country could do that, and I am really showing that this year.
Robinson said Storley’s performance this season is the best he has ever seen from him.
“[Assistant coach] Luke Becker has been working with him a lot, especially on turns,” Robinson said. “I think that you can see the results when he is wrestling. It’s a very positive thing. … I think Logan wants to lead that way and show that when we get to the national tournament or the Big Ten
tournament, we can score those points.”
Another wrestler with a strong performance was redshirt freshman Nick Wanzek.
In his first match against Grand Canyon, Wanzek won easily by an 11-2 major decision.
However, the second match against Ryan Watts of Michigan State proved to be more of a challenge.
Down 3-1 going into the third period, Wanzek overcame the deficit by scoring points from a late escape, a takedown and riding time.
He scored a total of four points in the third period, giving him a 5-3 decision victory.
“[Watts] came out very strong in the first period,” Wanzek said. “I have to work on keeping my position right away in the beginning of the match, [so] I can keep building my lead forward and keep scoring.”
Robinson said although Wanzek is only a redshirt freshman, he is already accustomed to pressure.
“He’s out there, and he is methodical,” Robinson said. “He keeps the pressure on him and scores when he has to. The object with him is to just keep him going the right direction.”